Superstate in 1984 / WED 2-3-16 / Land partitioned in 1945 / Scaly wall-scaler / Female lead in Gattaca Kill Bill

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Constructor: Tom McCoy

Relative difficulty: Easiest Wednesday I've Ever Done


THEME: MIDDLE CLASS (31A: Bourgeoisie ... or a descripti0n of each group of circled letters?) / CENTERFIELD (42A: Baseball position ... or a description of each group of circled letters) — inside (in the "middle" of... or "center" of ...) theme answers are words that can be a university CLASS (or FIELD of study):

Theme answers:
  • TAKE CONTROL (17A: Seize the reins)
  • UMA THURMAN (22A: Female lead in "Gattaca" and "Kill Bill")
  • ALL ATINGLE (47A: In eager anticipation)
  • DEATH EATERS (60A: Followers of Lord Voldemort)
Word of the Day: PANEM (6D: "The Hunger Games" nation) —
Panem is a nation that was established during an unknown time period in a post-apocalyptic world. It is situated primarily in North America, and the Capitol is located in an area formerly known as the Rocky Mountains, as it states in the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy. // Panem was run by an authoritarian-totalitarian dictatorship that was led by President Snow before the second rebellion. It is portrayed in the trilogy to be the dominant society in North America, and no other nations or civilized societies beyond Panem have been mentioned, so it is unknown if any exist at all. Panem was later led by Commander Paylor after the war. // The name Panem derives from the Latin phrase panem et circenses, which literally translates into 'bread and circuses'. The phrase itself is used to describe entertainment used to distract public attention from more important matters. Furthermore, by the government providing ample food and entertainment, the citizens would give up their political rights. // In Panem, the law is harshly enforced: After the Dark Days, a sadistic annual event known as the Hunger Games was established as a warning reminder of the past. // According to the Capitol. Panem has a population of 4,556,778 people. Adding up the Capitol and 12 districts gives it a population of only 1,905,286 people. (The Hunger Games Wikia)
• • •

I don't think I've ever broken three minutes on a Wednesday before, but I nearly did today: 3:02. That is insane. That is over a minute faster than yesterday's puzzle, to give you some perspective. Outside the theme, the puzzle was sub-Monday easy—all short answer with obvious, direct, transparent clues. The only trouble one could possibly have with this puzzle involves the kid lit: specifically the "Hunger Games" answer (PANEM) and the Harry Potter answer DEATH EATERS. I can see how those two answers might lock a bunch of solvers right out (or slow them down considerably, at any rate) But I've read the HP books, and my friend Lena put PANEM in one of our Buzzfeed crosswords last year, causing me to object with "WTF is this?" and "I think you want PAN AM." But then she was like "you're old, it's a big Hunger Games deal" and I was like "it's 'bread' in Latin and that is all that I will concede," but then she got other (relatively) young people to back her up and thus PANEM went into our puzzle. No one complained, so far as I know. I do think that HG / HP trivia really stands out in this grid, as every other clue/answer feels like it belongs in a Newsday Monday grid—super common, right over the plate (even the pop culture = old standbys like Christine LAHTI and REESE Witherspoon and UMA THURMAN etc.).


The theme, which I never saw during the solve, seems fine. Never seen a double-revealer before. Feels like maybe you should've gone with the better one, taken out the other, and then cleaned up / perked up the fill. Also, those "fields" / "classes" are none of them really in the "middle" or "center" of their answers.



I fell asleep last night before I got a chance to blog this, so now it's morning and I'm writing with my coffee tank on Empty, so I need to go before I get incoherent. Moreso. Oh, my former student Libby Cudmore had her debut novel released yesterday, and she gave her first reading from the novel here in town, and signed a copy for me, and I'm all ATINGLE for her. It's called "The Big Rewind" and it's a quirky, funny murder mystery set in contemporary Brooklyn. The story centers on a mix tape, which provides both the clues and a kind of soundtrack for the book. It's very cool to see one of my star Crime Fiction students grow up to write crime fiction. Also, the book has a cool cover, which contemporary books rarely do.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

58 comments:

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

Definitely Monday-easy. Lately, it seems that Tuesdays have been consistently harder than Wednesdays, and this week, doubly so.

HTF is LATIN a 'Field'? 8:59 AM  

Party scene never seen:
"Hi, I'm Joe"
"Suzy here, nice to meet you Joe. What's your field"
"Latin, I'm in Latin"
End Scene

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

First unassisted Wednesday solve. So, yeah. Not surprised at the Rex Rating. Still counts!

Sir Hillary 9:01 AM  

Agree that this is about the easiest Wednesday I can remember. The double revealer is a cool touch. Nothing too exciting in the grid, but it is super clean. I also love the twin dystopian states of EASTASIA and PANEM. Great trivia clue for RICE -- makes sense upon reflection, but really surprised me at first. Oh, and 43D's namesake is 2-0 vs. 16A in Super Bowls. I remember the first one quite clearly, as I happened to be stuck in a hotel room in 47D suffering from an 3D stomach bug.

Teedmn 9:01 AM  

One of the few times I can comment early during the week and no @Rex post. Oh well, I don't have much to say on this one.

I like the sound of SPIEL. It brings to mind SPooL, a tale that will SPooL out over time and you know it will have a sales pitch at the end but you hang around because the delivery is faintly entertaining.

Great clue for 65A, STEAK. It had me thinking of some sort of form, an A1 Visa application form or some such. So STEAK EARNS a ha ha from me. And a SEER as a forward-looking person is nice also. I'll take my SILOs next to barns, preferably nuclear-weaponless.

This puzzle did not ELICIT oohs and aahs but it didn't REPEL either. Thanks, Tom McCoy.

Hartley70 9:08 AM  

I'm in agreement with Rex on the difficulty level, especially since Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are very familiar series for me. I am perhaps a little more irritated than Rex that these classes are not precisely in the middle of the entries. It feels like false advertising.

Congrats to Libby Cudmore. I'm a diehard mystery fan so I'm always happy to give a new author a try.

kozmikvoid 9:10 AM  

Blech. For a puzzle to contain SKYDIVER and still not win me over, it's gotta be bad. I put on my Wednesday solving hat and halfway through the puzzle I took it off and set it on fire. I don't like Wednesday puzzles anymore, and I don't think the NYT does either. The day seems lost in some puzzle purgatory. Do we make it a theme day? How hard should it be? In 2016, let's make it themed, but as easy as Monday!!!

How about making it harder than a Tuesday and easier than a Friday? Sounds simple right?

gberg 9:20 AM  

I feel like this puzzle falls into the category of "Look how clever the constructor can be" rather than "look how much fun the solve can be". These easy puzzles have no crunch, no challenge and very little joy for me. Maybe I am having a good-old-days false memory but weren't Wednesday puzzles supposed to be at least a bit tricky?

Z 9:24 AM  

Is there easier than a Monday? This would be it.

I think the failure to make the subjects dead CENTER is more a lost opportunity than a flaw. Still, it irked me.

Thanks to these guys, ALL ATINGLE makes me think of soccer.

Leapfinger 9:26 AM  

Staring at the completed grid, I was first confused, then rather tickled at the idea of Drug Enforcement Agents (aka Narcs) putting on a little THEATER revue, perhaps spoofing a light-heARTed RAID on a MATH lab.

Liked the CLASS being formed in the MIDDLEby the adjoining words, and the adjacency of the Cotton GIN and ELI Whitney clues. The double reveal was an unexpected bonus; to me, there's no Accounting the beLITtling this depARTure from the norm.

(Full disclosure: Cut and paste ff)

I'll admit I got into Graduate School by knocking on Dr. Fraser's door and telling him I'd like to do graduate work with him. He said "That's fine" and all that was left to do was fill out the registration form. Obviously, I was in college in the days when BOT was abbrev for Botany, and I know things are very different in these days of the "shrinking MIDDLE CLASS".

It isn't nearly as easy to choose a career or even a major for young'uns who find CaMUS ICky or BamBI OLdhat. Going from elHI STraight into college also makes it difficult to imagine you might want to graPH YSer River flood levels or manage the PaparazZO OLympiacs. The larGE OGre in the room is that such difFREN' CHoices need to be made nowadays. I feel muCH EMpathy for today's college kids.

Except for Tom McCoy, who has obviously found his ECOLing.

Nancy 9:29 AM  

If you're in the MARKET (see 17A) for a puzzle with an interesting COMMON DENOMINATOR (see 22A), and that is sometimes PLAYFUL (see 60A), then you might AMAT (see 47A) this one. Well, maybe not quite AMAT it. But like it well enough for a Wednesday. There was some cluing here that wasn't completely on the nose, and a bit of thinking required. I've even decided to forgive it for references to three movies that I haven't seen and have no plans to ever see.

Vincent Lima 9:33 AM  

News of "The Big Rewind" is many times more exciting than this puzzle. Admittedly, though, it was thrilling to see DEATHEATERS in the puzzle. (I had to pause to give my tablet to my 10-year-old, who was up late to finish a school assignment, to enter the answer.)

chefbea 9:33 AM  

Easy fun puzzle!! I make dinner all the time and I especially like A1 sauce on my steak. Puzzle husband does not

The Rhino 9:34 AM  

Weirdly easy. Fastest Wednesday ever. Over so fast it was hard to say if I enjoyed or not. I could not see ALL A TINGLE for awhile (maybe 10-15 seconds) so that slowed me down but nothing else did.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

Oops. I think I may have meant AMAS it. It's been a very long time since I took Latin.

Not-quite-quotidian Dad 9:38 AM  

i KNEW Rex wold comment on the fact that the themers weren't in the MIDDLE/CENTER (or CENTRE for all us Canucks out there) of their longer answers.

Bronxdoc 9:41 AM  

Worried re late post. Glad you're okay. Enjoyed the easy Wednesday. Got it finished before my first morning patient.

Nancy 9:47 AM  

Oh, and to @puzzlehoarder, et al from yesterday. If you're as frugal as I am, and subscribe to basic cable rather than the much higher-priced special packages AND you have a cable provider that's pretty stingy about what's provided in the basic package, you will never again confuse TCM with TMC. TCM is the one that's included. TMC is the one you have to pay extra for. Easy distinction.

La Belle Provinciale 10:01 AM  

@N-Q-Q Dad,

What, a Canuck, and you're posting a Heineken? All out of not-quite-Moosehead and not-quite-Molson's, were you?

quilter1 10:06 AM  

Easy but fun. Candidates are gone, snow is on the ground. 'Nuff said.

Chuck McGregor 10:12 AM  

I had EKED filled in, so “Wall climber’: GIEKO provided no insurance to doing the NW. Obviously I’ve seen too many of their ads and, just as obviously, I couldn’t spell either the right or the wrong or answer correctly. ARF!

That idiocy corrected, I AGREE the rest was ULTRA easy as ABC – EENSY RANT: except the SE. I was REPELled by the crossings of not two, not three, not four, not five, but, including IRAN, six proper names. To boot, a square of 4 letters were ALL part of names. With one “help from a friend” for REESE, I LIT into that AREA and was able to TAKE CONTROL, filling in likely and happily correct letters for the other names.

Had I not done this pen and paper, and easy or not, I would have been ALL ATINGLE with the music jingle. In its stead, here's a verbal one:

For a constructor named McCoy,
THO crosswords are his joy,
He barely EKED
A Monday PEAK.
For a Wednesday? He EARNS no “ATTA boy!”

Cheers

Lobster11 10:28 AM  

I'm usually very forgiving about such things, but for some reason it really bugs me that the "fields"/"classes" are not actually in the "middle" or the "center" of their entries. I mean, maybe you could adopt a broad definition of "middle" that includes everything not at one end or the other, but you can't do that with "center." The center is, well, in the center, dammit, and these just aren't.

Actually, I think the grid is pretty smooth, and thi could have been a decent Wednesday puzzle if the cluing weren't so transparent and straightforward.

Rabi Abonour 10:35 AM  

Not a Wednesday record for me, but very close. Way under my average. DEATH EATERS was my favorite thing in the grid. I agree about the double revealer - it feels pretty noncommital.

Hartley70 10:43 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mac 10:47 AM  

Easy Wednesday, and a slowdown at Panem, East Asia and Death eaters.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:12 AM  

Eek! EKED again!

But actually, I found the double reveal a nice amusing twist.

Mike D 11:23 AM  

I'm surprised Rex went so easy on this piece of crap. Stupid easy, a theme that makes no sense in multiple ways, and some horrendous fill made this one of the worst puzzles in recent memory.

Z 11:35 AM  

@HTF is LATIN a field? - Scroll down to definition 2.

GILL I. 11:40 AM  

I just may have to start watching The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and maybe Gilligan's Island so that I can keep up with all the names I don't know.
Yes, easy but fun. It also seemed like a fresh idea that sorta missed some MIDDLE ground but I didn't care.
I like that you are FED RICE in KOREA, ARUBA and IRAN and it's only 20% of you diet, folks. I don't think they use A1 on their STEAKs though.
ALL A TINGLE is a great word that UMA THURMAN probably utters in Kill Bill.
Sometimes we get too picky.....

jae 11:42 AM  

Yep, very easy.

tENSY before EENSY and Laird before LIEGE.

Christine LAHTI is currently on The Blacklist which is a tad more current than Chicago Hope.

Pretty smooth grid given the theme density. Liked it.

Martel Moopsbane 12:03 PM  

I bet you could make an extremely dry martini with cotton GIN, no matter how much vermouth you added.

AliasZ 12:35 PM  


Not one of the FIELDs were smack CENTER, or CLASSes precisely in the MIDDLE, more like "haphazardly in there somewhere, between the two ends" of the phrases. Other than that, I liked the double-reveal theme, and the exemplary clean fill.

Allow me to present a brief excerpt from the symphonic suite Kullervo, Op. 7, by Jean Sibelius played here by the LAHTI Symphony Orchestra.

Happy Wednesday!

puzzle hoarder 12:46 PM  

This was a very easy Wednesday. Not that long ago there was one people remarked about as being hard. A few years ago there was a week where the Wednesday puzzle was(at least for me) the hardest. It took me over an hour. Neither the Friday nor the Saturday puzzles came close to that kind of time. Wednesdays can be something of a wild card. While this one's ease makes it seem out of place it's when they are taken to the other extreme that they become real outliers.
The only things I was a little fuzzy on were 31D and 60D. I'll have to do some Googling to understand where they're coming from. The crosses for 31D were easy to get. 60A slowed me down a little. I was thinking SEAT HEATERS. This just didn't look right and I immediately suspected I was splitting it wrong. I ran the alphabet to check it. As soon as I got to D DEATH EATERS popped out at me. My children were the right age so I'm very familiar with HP.
@Nancy thanks for the response. I didn't think yesterday's comment made it in. It's not just the money that's the issue I've been anti TV pretty much my entire adult life. Only when my sister-in-law told us about this great new show called "Hill Street Blues" (we're Chicagoans) did we go out and buy a little black and white. Later when our kids attended the local Waldorf school we didn't allow TV watching. We do have a modern TV now but to be honest with you I don't really know how to use it. The times we watch anything the kids set it up.
The spouse is very proficient with our computers so I've learned how to print out the NYPT. Pardon the TMI but you get an idea of how little a TV person I am. Anyhow I'm exposed to a lot of it at work.

Airymom 1:00 PM  

I agree with Mike D. Centerfield or middle class would imply that "Econ", "Latin", "Theater" or "Math" would be in the center of the answer. They are not. Also, Econ is an abbreviation. Maybe Math, too. That could be debated. So inconsistency with answers and revealers that do not match the answers.

I thought Rex would go nuts on this one.

The only saving grace--my gal Uma Thurman (whole name) appears for the second time in about three months. My whole Les Mills Bodystep class is happy about this, because "Uma Thurman" by Fallout Boys is one of the tracks in our class.

Masked and Anonymous 1:17 PM  

Double-revealers! Cooly different. Now, on to the important stuff …

Top reasons why a 1982 purchase of "Night Shift" on laserdisc might change yer life forever:

* Was actually a mis-labeled copy of "Word Play".
* Was actually a mis-labeled copy of "Debbie Does Dallas".
* Early infatuation with Henry Winkler led to a later reverse mortgage.
* Was so boring, decided to work this crossword puzzle thing sittin on the coffee table, instead.
* Tried to play laserdisc on phonograph in garage, and got call from girl in New Zealand who had been curious about the loud screeching sounds.
* Crummy film, so learned snarky evaluation techniques. Also, it was such a dog, learned to love dogs.
* Great film, so soon cultivated interest in Harry Potter and Hunger Games films, which saved ass on this WedPuz.
* There was a treasure map crammed into the laserdisc box, which led to a primo ginormous source of used paperbacks.
But, I digress.

Five K's. Four U's. Figures.
This puz's fill had an almost suffo-catin lack of desperation. Got yer plural abbr. mil. rank, and that's about it, sports fans. Lots of weejects; unfortunately all are pretty well behaved lil 3-letter runts.
But…
Nice, nice, nice touch on themers, in that none (zero) of the field/classes are exactly in the middle/center. Desperation (and LATIN) lives today!

UmathUrman. What a primo pair.

@009: y'all can have yer HG, HP, and 1984. M&A'll take "Foundation", "Second Foundation" and "Foundation and Empire", in a heartbeat. First full-length novels lil M&A ever read. Changed life forever. Pared way back on buyin comic books, after that. Would only touch the ones drawn by Carl Barks, after that.

No JXZWQ?! Scrabble twerkin just not happenin, today. Just a buncha K's. Changed our knives, forever.

M&A


**gruntz**

p.s.
Comin soon: **gruntz** may soon become a hotlink to the latest runt puzzle, over at runtpuz.org and/or runtpuz.blogspot.com. M&A just needs to practice up on how to do that right, first. Be sure and try plungin into the rabbit hole. A real nice test solver asked m&e to do this. End of one-time-advert. Thanx.

BigWool 1:29 PM  

Super easy for me. Sub 4:00 minutes.

the redanman 1:30 PM  

This wasn't easy easy because it was really boring. It was very hard to generate enthusiasm.

100% correct solve, no sour grapes, but I've been more info WSJ puzzles lately which are much snappier.

I do these NYT puzzles, normally with glee ... but this one was as exciting as choosing a viable presidential candidate from the mehdregs seeking office. Awaiting a snappier Thursday!

Chip Hilton 1:31 PM  

Rex right on the money. I kept thinking I was misinterpreting something because the circles were neither centered nor middled (?). I did have Potter/Hunger hesitations, but finished in a faster time than usual for a Wednesday. Not too memorable, but . . . okay.

Tita 1:39 PM  

STEAK clue was great,
We hear from our old friend Herodotus, who wrote about the IRANian postmen back in 500 BC...
"Neither snow nor rain NOR heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

I did think the reveals were a tad loose with their use of FIELD and CLASS, but liked the double reveal.
Didn't bother me that they weren't smack-dab in the central of all poosible LOCI.

Thanks, Mr. McCoy!

Aketi 2:51 PM  

One of my colleagues used to say that the only response to the question "what do you do?" that stopped conversation faster than "lactation consultant" was her former profession "LATIN teacher".

As for yesterday's HORIZON, I immediately thought of:
A) how mesmerizing it is to roll over when you scuba dive and watch the bubbles float to the surface of the water, which technically probably doesn't count as a HORIZON
B) if you slip past an event HORIZON is it really going beyond the HORIZON? since you would immediately be crushed except in sci fi movies like Interstellar or the realm of theoretical physics
C) how you can be below the HOROZON on two sides on the actual HORIZON, the side that curves towards you which is visible and the side that curves away from you which is not visible. For example when a ship sails out to the edge of the HORIZON all of it is visible, as it nears the HORIZON the mast and even the ship eventually will appear above the horizon and as it goes beyond the horizon the ship and mast will eventually disappear below the HORIZON.

Masked and Anonymous 3:19 PM  

Oh, man --
M&A is all a-tingle, too. Big Congrats to Libby darlin. I'm mucho impressed. @009: U are
a primo mentor, dude.

Just thinkin…
If 1) everybody starts punchin the **gruntz** button, and 2) someday runtz
become popular and 3) some publisher prints up a mess of "The Lil Runt Wind" runtpuz
compilation mini-books and 4) M&A does a runtbook readin somewheres out east and
5) @009 displays a selfie of him and some masked "author" on The Big Blog…

Dream come true, pard. Dream come true.

M&A
"Only Thing Missin Is The Cinnamon Roll Mountain"

Chronic dnfer 3:25 PM  

If you don't know gallatica kill bill who lord Voldemort is don't read Harry Potter (tried found it juvenile) or follow hunger games I can tell you this was NOT the easiest Wednesday ever.

Chronic dnfer 3:29 PM  


All in all a terrible joyless experience.

Wednesday's Child 3:33 PM  

My daughter, who doesn't do well on Wednesdays, had most of the puzzle done before I got to it. She got DEATH EATERS without the crosses, whereas I would have needed most of them.

Easy but fun.

Is SCIFI a common enough expression that we don't need an abbreviation in the clue? I guess so.

SCIFI, CACTI, LAHTI, LOCI, SKI, ELI -- lots of i-enders.

Getting our fill of EKE. In the same league as opt.

Anonymous 6:27 PM  

Spotted on tee shirt: If at first you don't succeed, skydiving's not for you.

Easy-peasy, even if I can never remember if it's Uma or Una....

jberg 7:13 PM  

Nothing much to add -- I solved this one early, but @Rex hadn't, so it was off to my early appointment and then to work. I would have liked it better without the circles, on a Wednesday.

Masked and Anonymous 7:34 PM  

p.p.s.s

50 out of 72 (69.4%) non-themer words in this WedPuz have Patrick Berry Usage Immunity.
Now that's what I call a solid base!

Well done, Tom McCoy. (Liked the way U snuck a TOM in there, btw.)

M&A III

kitshef 7:54 PM  

Tried to think of a class that would not also be a field ... English? Chem? Physics? Basket weaving? All fields, so really the double reveal is more like a 1.5x reveal, and both are inaccurate as has been pointed out many times.

The occasional EASTASIA or ARUBA made it not quite Monday easy, but close. Well,easier than THIS Monday, but not so easy as a typical one.

Z 9:40 PM  

@Wednesday's Child - Yes. Here, for example, is a typical usage even though the title uses the words spelled out.

@Martel Moopsbane - So dry it will cause cotton mouth?

Leapfinger 8:33 AM  

High Points at High Noon, what with @M. Moopsbane's groan-out-loud martini tie-in, followed by @Alias' De Sibelius great finish.

Bonus points: learned that LAHTI means 'bay', 'gulf' or 'cove' in Finlandia.

Diana,LIW 10:10 PM  

OK Synderellas and Synderfellas

The gauntlet is down. Cyber PowWows are fine, but who is planning on going to some of the PuzWorld meets? There's one in April. One in August? Not sure. Maybe we could all get together 5 weeks later. ;-)

I'm completely not competitive, but would love to watch them's that is. AC in
April? Indie? Anyone?

Wouldn't it be un to meet up Methinks!

Who's game? D,LIW

Burma Shave 10:32 AM  

SEER TRADE AID

UMATHURMAN makes me ALLATINGLE,
IMEAN I’d AGREE, even BEG, to have a roll.
THO she HAS the right to GETIT ‘cause she’s single,
she ASKS whoever LASER to TAKECONTROL.

--- DOC PANEM

spacecraft 12:04 PM  

Not all that easy for me, because (A) the theme had me confused even at the end: is that all there is to it, some school course in--but NOT in--the "MIDDLE?" and (B) I had to work for both the kidlit entries. I guess the NW was a bit trICKY, but filling in was, yeah, pretty simple otherwise.

As if to make up for recent lack, the yeah-baby score today is high. Nice to see UMATHURMAN's full (and IMEAN full!) name in a grid, but I'd settle for REESE anytime. Or even LAHTI.

Mini-theme of fictional countries, the unknown PANEM and the very-well-known EASTASIA. But the fiction I would urge all readers not to miss is Asimov's Foundation trilogy. SCIFI at its PEAK.

I think if I see EKE one more time I'm going to lose my lunch. STOP already! I know this: if I ever construct a puzzle--admittedly not likely--and if I had the most brilliant gem you could imagine, but it had EKE in it, I would tear the whole thing out and either fix it or scrap it. In fact, I'm at the point where that word will ELICIT a penalty flag from this reviewer, automatically. So fair warning, guys. A second straight C-. The girls saved further markdowns.

rondo 12:44 PM  

Agree with the easy rating, but it did take crosses to get the kid LIT answers. Kinda heavy in the three letter answers.

This puz is loaded with ULTRA yeah babies from near the top to the bottom. Where to start? I prefer to go down. Any puz with a complete UMATHURMAN will ELICIT my stamp of approval. I have a compilation of her films on DVD with Russian voice-over; cost only a couple bucks. I’m legally bound to include REESE; one PEAK at her and you’d AGREE. Ms. LAHTI HAS been around for a while, but still EARNS yeah baby status. Now I’m ALLATINGLE.

@Cathy (and D,LIW) – American Beauty and Déjà Vu were my first two cassette purchases, for portability reasons; everything before those was on vinyl. Ripple the song, and the wine if you could GETIT. Sometimes Bali Hai, before there was Boone’s Farm. Then some O-RON-O. Wouldn’t TRADE those days.

@D,LIW – I was thinking about going to the Minnesota Crossword Tournament on Sunday June 12 in St. Paul. Mr. Barany and ACME are among the constructors. Don’t know if I’d dare to enter, but there is an Amateur category. You can google it.

Clean and EZ puz, but enough of my SPIEL. ALOHA.

Longbeachlee 1:11 PM  

It didn't seem all that easy to me, but it was over fast. I'm not one who keeps time, but maybe I should join the egoists and start. Maybe I haven't wanted to admit my egoism. Maybe I need a shrink.

leftcoastTAM 1:52 PM  

Transparent theme, obvious fill, and familiar crosswordese. Not much to talk about.

But in the SE, had to puzzle over the DEATHEATERS/ATTA cross. I initially resisted the correct entries, which seemed alien to the ABC level of the rest of the puzzle.

An off-Wednesday easy-odd exercise.

Diana,LIW 4:12 PM  

Oh gee. I was just getting over throwing my mortar board in he air after graduating from P.S. Puz 3rd grade, and celebrating such a good Wednesday solve. "You're brilliant," said I. Did struggle a bit in the SE - read 1984 when 1984 was a long ways off, so all I remember is Big Brother. Never read HP or HG, and didn't know ATTA. But got it all - so yay me!

And then come here to find this was from some pre-school wheelhouse. Wah! Fie! Maybe I'll get a STEAK and some GIN anyway.

@Rondo - I don't think I'm brave enough, or wise enough, to compete. Any time a hint of timing comes my way I seem to freeze up and my time gets longer. Even if I'm just casually doing a "Oh I wonder if I can finish Monday in under 20 minutes?" Tick, tick, tick. I shall Google. Perhaps there are volunteer openings.

Diana, The Lady

Scotsman 8:13 PM  

Just when I'm feeling all smart and stuff, everybody goes on and on about how super-easy this was. Ah well, c'est la vie...
The whole thing was kind of over quickly and just as quickly forgotten. Not great, not terrible. Might have been more fun without "ugh" fill like MSS, PDF, DOC (as clued), ERA, ARE, SGTS, or ABC. Just not a lot of joy in this solve, despite the somewhat clever double-reveal.

Oh, and can we please ban EKE, EKES, and EKED from all crosswords forever? Thanks.

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